A great and important California law is on the books. It may not sound like much to read but in real world application it is huge. After the court issues its initial judgment, such as granting a divorce or making a child custody determination, there has been no automatic right to discovery, which is the procedure by which one party can make the other party turn over evidence such as financial records or appear at a deposition. The law had been that you had to ask the judge’s permission, and the judge could deny the request.

This changes on January 1, 2015. The new Family Code section 218 grants an AUTOMATIC right to conduct post-judgment discovery on any issues raised in the new request for orders. Further, discovery is usually cut-off 30 days prior to the date set for the first hearing, but now for family law cases the 30 days floats forward for any continuance or trial setting.

This is a great victory for justice, and to assure that our clients have a full and meaningful day in court.

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